Random thoughts while wandering through the Irish countryside on the way to Ballyifin, Ireland.

  • You drive your car on the left side of the rode in the UK but you still end up driving your ball down the right.
  • What’s wrong with this picture. People who have spent at least a week at St. Andrews University. Prince William, Kate Middleton and me.
  • You know how long people have lived in this part of the world because there are cemeteries around every corner.
  • Perhaps too harsh but Peter Dawson is in his last term as the head of the R&A and sitting on the riser in front of the media he seems to see himself as both “royal” and “ancient.” He is both condescending and dismissive and speaks with the belief of papal invincibility.
  • Jordan Spieth actually looks at every putt as one that can and should be holed.
  • A very prominent golf writer said to me “Dustin Johnson is the dumbest player on the PGA Tour.” I don’t think there is a rehab location to cure that.
  • We have now officially reached a point in the game where the capricious fairway bunkers on the Old Course are something players fly past not trundle into.
  • A course management rule in Scotland and Ireland: If the sheep won’t eat it, we won’t cut it.
  • Do roundabouts in the Southern hemisphere run ‘counterclockwise?’
  • I passed a local soccer field that was artificial turf. There should be some kind of fine for that.
  • It’s easy to understand why the US looses in the Ryder Cup. When British writers talk to British and Irish contenders in the interview room at the Open they talk about “us.”  When American writers talk to American contenders in the press room they talk about ”them.”
  • Breakfast in this part of the world is the size of Thanksgiving dinner at home. I am surprised they don’t make bacon available in the restrooms.
  • Drivers in this part of the world consider right turns on red in America as a form of assisted suicide.
  • On my tenth day here I saw my first ice cube. Pandas are more pervasive.
  • I don’t know what “Bally” means.
  • Virtually every hotel in Dublin was sold out on Friday July 24/25 because Ed Sheeran was in concert. That’s a lot of teenage girls renting rooms.
  • Irish boast that the west coast of Ireland features the Wild Atlantic Way – the longest continuous coastal road in the the world, over 2000 km.
  • I sampled chicken breast stuffed with haggis and pictured a scene from Alien when I cut in. Needless fear.
  • If you have never driven through the Scottish Highlands, you have missed one of nature’s great beauties.
  • Road signs in Scotland and Ireland are written in secret code.
  • Even though the steering wheel is on the right side in cars in the UK, it is on the left side of golf carts. It’s a wonder they don’t crash more often in confusion.
  • The northernmost golf course in all of Ireland is Ballyifin Golf Club, but it is not in Northern Ireland. Rory McIlroy shot 64 there when he was 15.
  • Eventually Ireland will sink below the Atlantic from the weight of golf balls lost in the rough.
  • Why do some golf courses in this part of the world have six foot flagsticks and other seven footers? The short ones make the shot seem longer.
  • I saw a sprinkler head that read 395 yards to the green. What am I supposed to do with that information?
  • If you are a member of a “Royal” club, you have playing privileges at all Royal clubs in the world.
  • Of the top 20 rated golf courses in the U.S., you can play three. Of the top 100 golf courses in Ireland you can play 100. Get a passport.
  • It was cheaper for me to fly from Edinburgh to Belfast than it was for my golf clubs to be on the same flight.
  • I used a ‘trolley’ (pull cart) for five straight days in Ireland and saved myself a lot of fatigue.
  • I saw an Irish golfer miss a three-foot birdie putt by an inch and the ball finished 45 feet from the hole. His comment was “That is nae @#$%& golf.
  • You can buy a ‘lifetime’ membership at a club in Ireland ranked in the top ten in the country for less than the initiation fee at most St. Louis clubs.
  • In Dublin, pubs stop serving food in the evening. They know what their purpose is.
  • You can tell the courses that are looking for American business because the scorecards are in yards.
  • Did you know Aldi’s is a big supermarket chain in Ireland?
  • Many courses in Ireland give you a divot bag when you go out, to fill in shots played from the fairway. Forget the scorecard and measure your round by how empty your divot bag is when the round is over.
  1. Oh I saw that secret code too! It is a bit confusing as the names don’t match what is on the map. But it is truly beautiful.

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